Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Country Dog Behavior - Part 1: The Journey

Okay, so I know I mentioned that I've got a second home besides my, oops, I mean, our apartment in Austin. Eh, who am I kidding...everyone knows it's mine. I even signed the last rent check! AND if the maintenance guys didn't like when I say hello/howl, we would never have gotten that leak fixed in the bathroom. My charm definitely takes the credit on that one. It's not that people don't like Alex...it just takes people awhile to warm up to her. Quite awhile, in fact. I guess not everyone is blessed by the immediate showering of love and devotion like I am. Poor saps. Must be a tough life. Maybe some day when I'm feeling charitable I'll let them pet me. Nothing crazy, ya know, just a quick pat...hmm it's a thought...nothing to rush into...

What was I saying - oh yeah. My country home! Alex's parents live on about 12 acres in a small town outside of Waco (it will remain nameless so I can guard my identity; you never can be too careful these days, plus I like my privacy) and Alex chauffers me down there every so often. I'm not that fond of the car rides, mind you, but I try to make the trip as enjoyable as I can. We've got a pretty good system worked out. Before we leave, I supervise the placement of the luggage in the car (like so -->) and make sure everything is going to be okay. I always pee before I let Alex pick me up to put me in the car and if nature is really calling (you know what I mean), then I just evade her until I have, ahem, answered. Then we go. It's a process, but it works for us.

I always "go to my side" (a phrase I forgot to put in the Language Barrier post), which is the front passenger seat. Then I hang out until I need something. During the summer, I like to pant in Alex's face to tell her to turn the AC on because it's effing hot. She is fairly accomodating. It helps that I lick my butt before I breath on her.

Other times, if there are other people in the car or if I feel I can maximize the amount of space/attention I can get, I switch it up some. I pretend that I think "go to my side" means go in the back seat. Pisses me off when people hog the seat though. I give them my "Death Stare". It works pretty well. At least with Alex anyway. When I give it to her, she says, "Nuh-uh you're stupid...stop looking at me like that!" and then gives me something to be happy about. I'm not sure if this picture truly relays the furosity of it. Trust me -it's bad. Sorry! Small tangent. Anyways, mostly though, I like to ride shotgun.

During the journey, I can tell when the car is slowing down and when Alex sees that I am aware of this, then she rolls down my window for me so that I am able to sniff the surrounding area. When she isn't paying attention, then I scratch on the window to let her know that I am ready. For the most part, this occurs at stoplights, but there are 2 areas with low enough speed limits that the wind doesn't mess up my beard too much. Otherwise, it would look like this a lot of the time. And obviously, that's not my best look ever.

If you've read "Weed and Windblown", then you know we've had issues with windows before. It only happened that one time, but still...it was a scarring experience as you might have realized. On these trips, she usually doesn't roll the window up until I sit back down to let her know I'm done. Or at least to communicate that we are now going too fast for me to enjoy myself...She REALLY likes going fast...damn that radar detector she got last Christmas. Next time, I'm not going to wag my nub and talk to the highway patrol officer that pulls her over. Nope. She can get out of the ticket on her own. Call me fat...you'd think she would have slowed down some on the insults after I saved her ass from 6 hours of Defensive Driving! The nerve! Whatever. Some lessons have to be learned the hard way I guess. Just don't look for me when you're in a bind again, roomie.

I've also gotten Alex trained pretty well so far to recognize when I want the window cracked, but not down. Here are some tips for all of my peers who have a similar predicament. These might not work for you...as you know, every human is different and learns in their own way. Feel free to try them out.

  • To let Alex know that the window needs to be cracked or go down, I stand up, with my front feet on the door's arm rest and then look back at her over my shoulder. This helps to say, I'm not standing here 'cause I like it...roll down the damn window, stupid. If standing there and blatant staring doesn't work, then I like to reiterate my desire by scratching on the glass. This really irritates Alex because her windows are tinted and could get messed up. Heehee...my bad...

  • If the window is down but I want it cracked, I sit down and then scratch in the general area of the door/window. I'm not too particular as it is mostly for sound effect since Alex is watching the road. Or messing with her iPod. But, yeah, usually watching the road.

  • When I get the feeling we are going to be slowing down sometime in the not so distant future, I like to lean in close to the vents and put my nose right in them. Then, I sniff really loudly so she knows that I'm ready to smell something new. Just a little reminder that I'm here and I'm bored. I've found it helps to make sure that I don't miss a stoplight opportunity.

There are times when Alex has been at work all day and I've been pretty bored or am a little moody that the car trips don't go as smoothly. Admittedly, this could be seen as my fault. However, I firmly stand by my belief that it is just Alex being selfish! I mean, I have been at home all day, waiting for her to come back and hang out with me and then we immediately get in the car?! Come on! I know that I'm going to get plenty of running around when I am doing chores in the country, but can I get a "how was your day"? Is that too much to ask? No, I don't think it is. To show my irritation, I paw at her constantly during the entire car ride. She usually gets frustrated and then I get even more pissy so by the time we arrive, man, is it good to be out of the car!

Well, I've got to go for now, but I will continue my Country Dog Behavior series again shortly. I didn't realize how much there was to say just about the car trip . Until next time...Ciao, baby.

-Martini